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Lisa Gottfriend, Andrew Biggs

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Ribbon HUNDRED 2018
Want students to expand their knowledge by participating in an online community?

New Technology High School: Blog Portfolio

Napa, California, USA
Blogs serve as a way to connect students with experts in the field, who offer advice, encouragement, and even internships and jobs. It is time for educators to harness the power that blogs can provide to amplify engagement with real world professionals and communities.

What is New Technology High School: Blog Portfolio?

No matter the job, chances are that employers will use the internet to find out more information about an applicant. Therefore, a digital presence is arguably the most vital element to students as they look for jobs. Students need to start thinking and strategizing about their audience and ultimately learn how to use different social media platforms to convey who they are. Furthermore, with many of today's jobs involving some sort of digital skills, educators need to provide students with the terminology and skills they will need to thrive.

New Tech High wanted to transform e-portfolio work as they recognized that traditional methods of uploading work online did not create an authentic audience. As a result, educators decided to work in collaboration with their students to redesign the program. The result was a blogging and e-portfolio hybrid. Three main components to the program were formed:

1. Document your process 

2. Teach others what you know

3. Connect with the outside world and network

By moving beyond the boundaries of the classroom, students interact with online communities and make real-world connections that can lead to internships and employment. Students use social media to interact with experts and build a digital presence through blogging. Students add to their blogs using writing prompts provided by teachers anywhere from 2 to 15 times a month. 

Students have the ability to promote their content via social media, or if they wish to minimize their digital footprint, they learn how to safely set their privacy settings. This provides an opportunity for everyone to become involved in the project.

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Innovation Overview
14 - 18
Age Group
2 850
Tips for implementation
This innovation takes a year to implement and requires the ability for students to access computers, time to blog, staff support for implementation, and an event to showcase work at the end of the year. Usually, one-two teachers and outside staff participating in the online writing communities meet with a portfolio committee made up of 4-8 students.
Contact information
Lisa Gottfriend, Andrew Biggs
HundrED Review

Students become more astute at using their digital presence to get jobs, showcase work, and become experts in an area of passion, than a lot of adults out in the world today.


Students become workforce-ready as they see an increase in self-esteem, creativeness, passion, and much more. At New Tech High, nearly every student at the school was engaged and excited to share their portfolios with teachers and family. The staff were impressed with the thoughtfulness, professionalism, and genuine excitement of the students.


Over 400 students in New Tech High use Blog on a regular basis; some of their Blogs reach over 300 views. This simple technique can be used in any classroom.


See this innovation in action

Final Innovative Learning Presentation
New Tech High has walked through a jungle and created a road and left us the tools to follow them. We can cut our own way through the jungle or follow their road... either way, this is what the Internet is about. Sharing. Sharing is caring. I stumbled on their better way to do portfolios. I spent two years trying to build a system (see the free materials at and a free ebook and a blog and their system is better. The school was profiled in the DiMartino and Clarke book "Personalizing the High School Experience for Each Student"
Steve McCrea
This innovation is a brilliant ,complimentary aid to Education Development Systems that most schools used today. Very effectively engages the student and helps chronicle their academic journeys without having to miss out on any details. A very useful future reference tool & resource
Shreelata Krishnan
This school was profiled in a book about "personalizing the high school experience" by Joseph Dimartino and John Clark. I'm delighted to see the procedure of "blogging to capture student work" in this list of Hundred. The students at my school who blog tend to have a sense of "where they are" in their learning journey. Blogging works well.


Achievements & Awards


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Select a structure
Each school has different needs to structure the program differently to fit its needs.
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Design portfolios with a Committee of Stakeholders
Create a Committee of Stakeholders consisting of teachers, students, and outside professionals to consider portfolios.
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Create Resources
Resources for teachers and students is essential to building a portfolio.
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Roll out to the school
Utilize committee members to premier the program to the school.
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Plan for Showcasing
Celebrate the success of students' portfolios.
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